An Interview with Film Festival Director Kyle Bergman

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Join us for the Architecture & Design Film Festival: D.C., presented by the Revada Foundation.

Architect Kyle Bergman founded the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) in 2008 and serves as its director. He has always recognized the strong connection between architecture and film and ADFF provides a unique opportunity to educate, entertain and engage people who are passionate about the world of architecture and design. We spoke with Kyle Bergman about what to expect at the festival.


Kyle Bergman: As an architect and designer, I noticed that we have a robust dialogue within our industry, but are not as successful when it comes to communicating what we do and how we do it to a wider audience. We were also looking for a way to communicate the value and impact that great design can contribute to society.

With a film festival focused on the creative process, we saw there was the potential to show films that are both engaging
to professionals and interesting to the general public. As a medium, viewing architecture through film has some great
advantages in comparison to books and still images. Films can show how humans see space as we move through it and how
scale and proportions are affected by light and time. Not only do films portray buildings in a beautiful way, they also explore
the design process, show how buildings are used, and give the backstory of the people and ideas that go into all that is designed and built.


KB: The festival began as an annual event. Having never run a film festival before, we did the initial year in Vermont as a sort of beta test. It was a great success and got us ready for year two at the famous Tribeca Cinemas in New York City. New York has been home to the festival since 2010 and a few years ago we began to travel to cities like Tulsa, Orlando, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Seoul. Since the launch of the festival, an increasing number of architecture and design films are being created each year which is exciting for us, because it increases the quality of the films being produced and allows us to curate a better festival. We now receive and preview more than 300 films each year.


KB: Bringing the festival to the nation’s capital is a great honor. Since we launched, we hoped to screen films in the National Building Museum”s Great Hall. The scale is so impressive and we are excited to activate it with a massive screen so all of the
Museum’s visitors can engage. As you might imagine, with the large scale of the Great Hall comes acoustical challenges, so the audio will be supplied through high quality wireless headphones. It will truly be a one-of-a-kind cinema experience!

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